With the high school bowling season beginning to wind down, a big match in Baton Rouge may have provided a few thoughts on how the power rankings will shake down in the days ahead.
When Central of Baton Rouge and Denham Springs met last week at All-Star Lanes, the two teams were No. 1 and No. 2 in the Feb. 25 power rankings for boys/coed teams.
Central, after a convincing 22.5-4.5 win and a 3,629 three-game series win by almost 500 pins, is now 9-0 and putting a lock on the No. 1 seed position (the position they had last year entering the playoffs). The question is when the new rankings come out will undefeated Brother Martin, ranked third, move past Denham Springs into second.
The top 32 teams will advance in boys/coed play to the state playoffs which will be held in Houma at Creole Lanes on March 23 (upper half of the bracket) and All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge on March 24 (lower half of the bracket). Brother Martin, which has already set a state series record this season, will be going for its fifth title in the last six years (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).
By my figuring of upper and lower if the seedings were No. 1 Central, No. 2-3 Brother Martin-Denham Springs and the Feb. 25 No. 4 Teurlings Catholic, then Central and Teurlings Catholic would be in the playoffs in Creole while Brother Martin and Denham Springs would be in the Baton Rouge bracket.
Right now, on in the cutoff spots are St. Amant and Patrick Taylor, tied at No. 30 with Holy Savior Menard at 32. Tara is just outside the cut line at No. 33.
Central is the only boys/coed undefeated team in the Baton Rouge divisions with Catholic, Denham Springs and Lutcher all at 8-2 and in good shape to make the cut.
On the girls’ side, Archbishop Chapelle at 9-0 and Airline High at 10-0 have a pretty good lead in the Feb. 25 power rankings with H.L. Bourgeois at 10-0 and Central Lafourche at 9-0 in the 3-4 slots. East Ascension at 7-1 (with its lone loss to Chapelle) is the top area team with undefeated Lafayette, a past three-time state winner, in sixth.
Lafayette is the only former state champion in the top 10 schools in the power rankings that has won a girl’s state title which might mean a much different look to this year’s championship.
The top 16 teams advance to play an early round play on March 25 at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge. Cabrini holds the 16th and final playoff spot as of Feb. 25.
The state team and singles championships will be conducted in a first-time host venue this year, Premier Lanes in Gonzales, April 2-3.
Southern Bowling Congress
One of the bigger bowling events to come to local bowling centers will be held in Baton Rouge beginning March 14 when the 83rd Southern Bowling Congress event takes place at Circle Bowl and All-Star Lanes.
Some 500 teams are expected to be a part of the four-weekend tournament that runs through April 4-5 with a total prize payout estimated at well over $100,000.
Bowlers from nine states — Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky — will come to Baton Rouge for the event. The group will have its annual meeting during the second weekend of the tournament and will select its tournament host for 2022. Pensacola will host the 2021 event.
This will be the first time the event has been back in Baton Rouge since 2009 and the first time in Louisiana since the Shreveport tourney in 2016. That year the Larry’s Boys team from Lafayette and Shreveport’s Balls of Fire tied for the team title with scores of 3,520 and split $6,500.
Some great shows have continued this season with the U. S. Open that Jason Belmonte won for his 12th major and then Saturday night’s Indianapolis Open. I’m beginning to like the later Saturday live telecasts of the PBA and I really thought Rob Stone was on his game the last two weeks on Fox Sports and then FS1.
It’s a pretty good thing the PBA has going right now with announcers. Although Dave Lamont has been tied up with ESPN basketball and hasn’t called any bowling this year, the PBA and Fox have worked out a nice deal with other networks to allow people like Lamont and this season Dave Ryan from CBS to transition over to the Fox broadcasts when Stone has studio hosting duties.
This week is the Roth/Holman doubles event which was taped before last Saturday’s Indianapolis Open.
There's a break from basketball events and the networks have a big week of primetime bowling with the World Series of Bowling starting on Sunday, March 15 and running through March 19 from Las Vegas.
Lots of good scores in the honor roll to check out. We’ll be with you soon for prep playoffs, junior state recap and the Southern tournament. It’s going to be a fun March and early April around the lanes. Until March 17, good luck and good bowling.